Feather Project VI Winners
Thank you all for your participation. The stories that were entered were just fantastic. Grand ideas and fun executions. enough fluff, lets get to the winners!
The story that took the top is:
"Fate's Firey Fist" by Jonas Stewart.
As usual, there were a few other gems scattered throughout, no point in leaving those out. While these stories wont take the top spot, they are still winners!
"The Raven and the Ghost" by CCG
"There's Gold In Those Hills" by Eric Johnson
"The Final Huddle" by Dusty Grien
Thank you all for participaing, hope to see you in the next challenge!
Science? or Science Fiction?
QUANTICO, VA. OCT 27, 2022 - Under the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI today released copies of several documents which had been thought lost. These documents were part of Nicolai Tesla’s personal effects, and the papers themselves have been returned to his family and the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia. Among these documents was an odd communication, written on pages of lined school paper. These pages are, as far as experts can tell, a practical joke. Here is a transcript:
July 12, 1988
My name is Jerryde Willams, but if my plan works it may not matter. Hell, I might even create a paradox that means I won’t exist, but that’s a chance I have to take. The alternatives are just too dangerous.
Let me start at the beginning. I have worked in the FBI’s document offices for the last 25 years, and it wasn’t long after I was hired I found the box of papers.
As a probationary employee, I was often tasked with shit jobs, and the transfer of old financial documents was par for the course. I was working in the archive catacombs below HQ, loading document boxes onto a dolly; it was my job to haul these boxes up to the microfiche room, where the documents inside them would be photographed before they were sent to the burn room for incineration. It was manual labor, and I'd spent weeks shlepping boxes up from the sub-basement.
The last box in the set that day was a little different than the others. The archive tape sealing the other boxes was a dull and faded yellow, but on this one it was darker, almost brown. I turned the box around, and saw the label on the side.
.........[ N. TESLA 10/28/1945 ]........
I was intrigued. Setting the box back on the shelf, I hid it behind some budget boxes from the 1930’s. Little did I know just how fateful that decision would be.
After work, I made my way back down to the storage room where I had been working, and opened the box. Technically, I was breaking the law, but no one cared too much about protecting these old budget and accounting documents, and the security guards never even came down here. I split the tape seal, and inside I found manila file folders, aged and slightly brittle. Some had labels, penned in a spidery script.
Opening one at random, I found pages of hand-written notes and patent-worthy diagrams. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to study these papers in more depth, so that night I began smuggling documents out of the building, knowing it would cost me my job, and possibly my freedom, were I discovered.
It took careful execution; I limited my haul each time to no more than a single folder, or twenty or so loose pages. I got very good at hiding those thin bundles in the back of my pants. Security was pretty lax in those days, and no one ever thought to pat down my ass.
It took me months to complete my larceny, and I finished by tearing up the box itself, and taking the pieces out the same way.
I think it was when I examined the third or fourth set of documents that I realized some of the pages were copies; I recognized the telltale dark mimeograph fluid lines. It actually made me feel better. I wasn’t stealing state secrets or anything, since some of them had been copied, and besides, none of them had been stamped with a security designation.
It was soon after that I found some pages that made me wonder if they were all merely hoaxes. The first was a patent diagram for what was labeled a “Crystalline Mechanism for the Focusing and Controlled Release of High Intensity Electrical Energy.” I remembered reading rumors Tesla had been working on the development of a death ray for the military, and that his notes and research had never been found after his death. If what I was reading was real, then the conspiracy theorists were right; this secret research had been found and copies had been made.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I broke out in a sweat. If these documents were authentic, the powers that be would likely do whatever it took to keep them hidden, including making me disappear.
Secrecy became my mantra. I knew I should destroy the papers, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I had been reviewing Tesla's notes and diagrams for a couple weeks when I found a folder that would change everything. It contained a lengthy research paper titled simply TEMPORAL DISPLACEMENT. I sat down and began reading around 7:00 p.m. and when I looked up, thoughts whirling and eyes burning, I realized it was almost 5:00 a.m. The mathematics involved were beyond me, and the electronic and magnetic components were extremely sophisticated and complex, but the descriptions were laid out in a matter-of-fact way that begged for exploration and experimentation.
In order to learn more about the necessary subjects, I enrolled in night school, being careful never to complete any courses of study resulting in degrees or leaving an educational trail. I spent over twenty years learning and studying, and then almost four years gathering components. It took me several months and countless tries, but eventually I was able to open a portal into history, one which allowed me to traverse back and forth.
That was last week.
I started focusing the window around in history, careful to observe only. I was well aware of the proverbial butterfly-effect, and the potential for paradox was mentioned several times in Tesla’s papers. That was when I began to consider the implications of the time machine itself. With dawning horror I realized it was very possible that another copy of the research existed. There was no way I wanted this technology in the hands of anyone with an agenda who might change history irreparably.
So I developed my plan.
I am going to open a portal in Tesla’s hotel room on the day of his death. When I see him become unconscious, I will step in and remove the box containing the plans for the time machine. I intend to destroy all of the documents before they can be found by the government agents who will take possession of his papers.
I know this will create a paradox since I did find that box, but like I said, it’s a risk I am willing to take. If you are reading this note and you aren’t me, then I hope you will at least show it to me, and let me know it worked.
Ed. Note: No record of anyone, living or dead, by the name of Jerryde Willams has been found. The FBI denies ever having employed anyone by this name. They also deny that archived documents have ever been stored in sub-basements of any FBI building. We do know that there are several boxes of Tesla’s research still unaccounted for, but time travel machines seem very much beyond the scope of what even his genius could have developed.
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© 2023 - dustygrein
Pen to the Paper 24
"I will probably have to say this every year," I said into the mic, "but this is not the season finale. That's the next one. Crazy to think that it's almost been a year since I created that chicken suit… And how on earth will I top an entrance like that? Perhaps doing the chicken dance… Oh, wait. I've done that. I think several times."
I put my hand on my chin and furrowed my eyebrows. "I've got it! I can cheat on my invisible girlfriend with an invisible woman and then sing the Macarena! How relevant to the meaning of the song… Very appropriate and not at all a totally twisted and sick idea. Well, would ya look at the time? You guys have been waiting for a while. I guess I should let you hear what you've been waiting for. Pen to the Paper 24 is out now!"
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Persecuted for their beliefs in the United States? You mean the land where the first amendment states that we all have freedom of religion, but you can't be gay or trans because the Christain God says it's evil and not their inclusive, all-loving idk wiccan god or goddess, for example? A land where you must bear children no matter what and can't have abortions in some areas because God says it's murder? A land where you swear on the Bible in court? In court!! A place that upholds the laws, including freedom of religion, tells you to swear on a Bible! Maybe not as much anymore, but the option certainly still is there, especially in states that are not as progressive. Christianity is literally taking over the laws in some areas (in particular more conservative areas) and they feel like theyre being persecuted? Someone please give these people an island to live on where they can live and judge all they want against other like-minded asswipes.
I'm sorry, but just because those who follow a different religion or no religion are saying "hey, that's enough stop pushing your beliefs on me" does not mean christians are being persecuted. They're just a bunch of whiny babies who play victim when things don't go their way, even though their way hurts thouands and even millions. What does God have to say about that? Gosh they're so annoying, just a bunch of jokes. I'm over them. All they want is to feel powerful. That's literally it. Fuck 'em. Not literally of course...don't let them reproduce.
Also, I know not EVERY Christian is like this, but the majority of them are, especially those evangelists. If you're anything close to it literally do not talk to me, I have nothing to say to you and nothing learn/hear from you.
Also, also, sorry if it's hard to read or follow along, I didn't feel like going back to edit so good luck lol.
An assidious aspiration and aegis of aligning utter anonymity ad hoc unto aiming at unwraveling anyone and everyone's utterly untapped aptitudes and ambitions. An allusion on an obviously awestriking orchestration of armageddonesque escapades. An aura, an ambiance, encompassing uncollected accolades accrued out of abbreviated adroitness. An audacious attempt at antithesizing and antagonizing otherwise avarice and allowing online atonement at astute ease. An appraisal apropos antipathy against algorithmic alacrity - ad infinitum.
All The Better To Hear You With
Perhaps we can chalk it up to dyslexia, but my ideal god would be a dog.
Nothing all powerful; only a companion, innocent and ever watching, fluffy and fervent.
When I am angry, it will not answer with anger but will cower. I must quell my own anger lest I hurt it.
When I am sad, it cannot right wrongs for me. It can only provide quiet comfort until I pull myself back up.
When I am happy, it can wag, shake, and smile for me. But its happiness is eternal; it doesn't need me, just as I don't need others to make me happy.
When I am lost, it can pretend to guide me but only so far as either of our senses allow. It cannot bring me past where my own two feet take me.
When I am lonely, it is always there at my feet as a loyal, unswerving partner to my journey.
When I face hardship, it cannot help me. It can only remind me that I have a greater responsibility to make the world a kinder place not only for me, but for those less powerful than I am.
When I judge myself, it never responds because I know it will always see the best in me. It is up to me to face my darkness on my own.
When I tire and decide that life has had enough, it cannot tell me what lies ahead or whether my soul lives on. It can only accompany me into the darkness.
All the best parts of the gods I hear others praise can easily be embodied in one small, four-legged form.
All the other parts - the arrogance, the divine wrath, the trickery, the demand for supplication - well...
...we can give those to the cat.
I wish I had known not to label myself.
We place so much importance on labels.
It seems to a human condition to categorise and reduce groups into organised boxes.
At first, I tried to discover who I was, and when that failed I tried to become someone who was close to that but easier to explain in a few sentences.
That definition never suited me.
I kept changing it and reviewing it.
I kept looking for that perfect label.
A word that described me in an easily understandable way.
Some words fitted: feminist, skeptic, dreamer, atheist, writer.
Other words never did.
I have never found that label.
I wish I had not spent so much of my later life looking for it.
At the end of the day, I am just plain, old me and there's only one word that sums that up: Strange.
Ever had a dream with someone you know in it? Maybe your crush proposing their love for you which you know will never happen in real life or your teachers prepping you for a test you haven't studied for. It's pretty common as far as I am aware to dream about familiar faces which makes me wonder why I don't.
Sometimes dreams feel familiar. I'm at school or at home, places where people I know tend to be. But they're empty or filled with strangers.
I dream of a mother who isn't mine. I dream of a friend I have never had. It's always so real, a sort of barely memorable earth.
In most of my dreams, I am alone. There is a calm about that, no angry voices, no desperate longing to be seen, no desire to fit in.
The people I do meet in my dreams are human, kind of featureless but undoubtedly human. They mostly just walk around my mind like robotic extras in a movie. I am the cameraman. Looking on at a scene I have never lived through, a reality where I do not have to hide behind the person those around me see.
Every night I disappear into that world. One night I don't think I will want to come back.
When I was little I knew there was no God. But, now I'm not so sure.
There is this feeling I get when I read the torah - this big swell of emotions that crash over me and leave me breathless. This overwhelming presence of a hug, tight around my shoulders, and a voice telling me I am safe.
I used to look toward the sky and beg the universe to tell me why, if there is a God, He would be so vengeful, and wicked, and hurtful. Why He would kill my grandfather, a holocuast survivor who spent his entire life dedicating himself to good and to helping people, with such an arduous and horrific disease like cancer. I wondered why He would let me be hurt and taken advantage of. I wondered why He, this alleged allmighty powerful omnipotent being, would let people die or kill or hurt. I knew that I would never do that if I were in His place.
But then, a few months ago I sat down at my family's seder dinner, and I picked up the Haggadah, and I began to read. The presence of God became so overwhelming that I had to run to the bathroom and I began to cry. I finally undersood.
God doesnt have the power to rewire human beings. God cant change disease, or natural disaster, or trauma, or the way you and I live our lives.
God isnt omnipotent. God isn't all powerful. God doesnt have pronouns, or hamnoid qualities the way people say They do. God just is.
God is a means of finding your way back to peace. God is a means of articulating love, and purpose, and good. God is the amalgamation of what it is and what could be, should you choose to follow Them.
God is a hug, and safety, and a promise. God is a kiss, and empowerment, and knowledge.
My God may not take the form of the God we talk about in the torah, but not a day goes by that I dont get a hug from my God. And I think that the younger me, who was so anti-God, would feel really okay with that.